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Yassir Arafat

From dKosopedia

Merge with Yasser Arafat

Born Muhammad Abdel-Rahman Abdel-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini on August 24, 1929, in Cairo, Egypt; died on November 11, 2004, in Paris, France. Arafat was one of seven children of a textile merchant whose wife may have been related to the prominent Husseini Palestinian clan, one of whose members -- Haj Amin al-Husseni (d. 1974) -- was appointed by the British Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Haj Amin led Palestinian opposition to Jewish settlement, and later British rule, in Mandatory Palestine. During World War II, Haj Amin collaborated with the Nazis.

Arafat's mother died when he was four or five years old. It is said that he was sent to live with his maternal uncle in Jerusalem. After four years, his father, who had remarried, had him brought back to Cairo, where he was raised by an older sister.

Arafat enrolled in King Fahd (later Cairo) University in the winter of 1948, graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1956. While at university, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood and became active in the Union of Palestinian Students, serving as its president from 1952-1956. Arafat subsequently moved to Kuwait, where he worked as an engineer.

In October, 1959, Arafat cofounded Al Fatah, a Palestinian nationalist movement. "Fatah" is a reverse acronym standing for Harakat Al-Tahrir Al-Watani Al-Filastini -- the Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine. In Arabic, HTF means death; reversed to FTH, it means victory or conquest. Fatah's emblem consists of a grenade and crossed rifles, superimposed on a map of Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

In contrast to to the Pan-Arabist trend sponsored by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, Fatah advocated an independent Palestinian struggle against Israel, to culminate in a general conflict between the Arab states and Israel. In 1959, Fatah began publishing a magazine that called for armed struggle against Israel. Heavily influenced by the Algerian war against France, Fatah took a revolutionary stance: "An armed Palestinian revolution is the only way to liberate our homeland."

Fatah conducted its first military operation under Syrian auspices on New Year's Eve of 1965. Crossing into northern Israel from Lebanon, the group's target was a water pump for transporting water from the Sea of Galilee to southern Israel. However, the group's Soviet-made explosives failed to detonate and, on returnin from Israel, the participants were arrested by the Lebanese police. Nevertheless, Arafat issued a statement praising "the duty of Jihad and . . . the dreams of revolutionary Arabs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf."

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This page was last modified 01:16, 29 April 2007 by dKosopedia user Kitrus. Based on work by dKosopedia user(s) L'Shalom, Allamakee Democrat and One of the people. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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